When I started this company. I had no idea what most yoga mats were made from. Do you? The answer is PVC. PVC is a toxic plastic and it is used in yoga mats because it is cheap and sticky, so it is easy to mass produce at a low cost and it provides grip during practice, but at what cost? The answer is it will cost you your health and the environment.
PVC Cost Number 1: Your Health
According to the endometriosis association, PVC can be hazardous to your health in two ways. First, PVC is a petrochemical-meaning it is a product of the oil and gas industry. During the manufacturing of PVC mats, chlorine gas is produced, containing a deadly byproduct known as dioxins. Dioxins are known to act as endocrine disruptors, meaning they can block hormones in the body and cause immune abnormalities. In animals, dioxins are known to cause cancer, immune suppression and birth defects. Dioxins travel through the air where rain, dust and snow in turn carry dioxins into the ground. Dioxins then find their way into our food chain when animals such as cattle, pigs, and chickens feed on dioxin-contaminated crops. Humans ingest dioxins by feeding on beef, milk, pork, chicken, eggs, and other dairy products. Breastfeeding mothers can pass dioxins onto infants through breast milk and pregnant mothers can pass dioxins through the placenta.
Second, additives used in PVC yoga mats are toxic. Do you ever wonder why yoga mats say “Phthalate free”? Do you know what this means? PVC on its own is an incredibly rigid plastic. It requires the use of additives to make it malleable. One of these additives is Phthalates. However, Phthalates are so incredibly toxic that they have been outlawed in many children toys and most European countries have outlawed PVC for certain uses. The problem with Phthalates is that it can leach out of the yoga mat into your skin and causes all sorts of problems, such as damage to the heart, liver, ovaries, testes, lungs and kidneys. It has also been suspected of causing autism.
Beware. Even if your yoga mat is labeled “phthalate free” other harmful additives are often used to soften PVC and can disrupt the hormonal systems. For example, a commonly used additive, lead, is known to cause brain and nervous system damage, convulsions, coma, fatigue, mental retardation, hyperactivity, and reproductive problems. Thus, the best way to avoid harm to your health is to stay away from PVC yoga mats altogether. Stick to natural products. Jade yoga mats are an excellent choice if you are looking for a healthy mat because they are made from natural rubber. Spiritual Revolution Yoga Mats are another excellent choice because they too are made with natural rubber and water based inks and do not use PVC. Opt for Spiritual Revolution mats if you want a mat with cool designs on it or if you sweat a lot during your practice. These mats are designed for hot yoga or the sweaty practitioner because the built in towel top increases grip as you sweat.
PVC Cost Number 2: The Environment
PVC is not recyclable and it does not biodegrade. The toxic chemicals found in these mats have been known to leach their way into the ground and into water systems, polluting them. Moreover, when plastic makes its way into the ocean, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. It is said that some types of plastic can take up to 600 years to fully break down! Fish and birds feed on plastic and it is known to kill them.
It is for these reasons that Spiritual Revolution has initiated support for the Oceanic Society by designing a mat in collaboration with Pam Longobardi. Profits received on all sales of these mats are used to support the Oceanic Society’s “Adopt an Albatross” program. This program supports efforts to counteract the impacts of marine plastic pollution on Laysan Albatross and Black-footed Albatross populations in Midway and Kure Atolls through habitat restoration and research.
-Holly Rogers, Spiritual Revolution
Pam Longobardi Spiritual Revolution Yoga from Pam Longobardi on Vimeo.
Funds from the sale of each Longobardi designed yoga mat will be donated to support Oceanic Society’s, “Albatross Adoption Program.” Oceanic Society has initiated an Albatross Adoption program, which will directly fund research on the impacts of plastic pollution on seabirds, outreach and education about the issue, and habitat restoration efforts on two of the Laysan and Black-Footed Albatross populations main breeding sites, Midway & Kure Atolls.
The Soaring Albatrosses Mat from artist Pam Longobardi / image: joelongophotography
These birds live and nest on remote Hawaiian Islands, and parent birds regularly fly as far north as the Aleutian Islands to collect food—feeding in many cases directly within the North Pacific Gyre, where billions of pieces of plastic pollution now concentrate. Ingesting plastic objects while feeding here, the parents subsequently return to the nesting sites and regurgitate them to their chicks. The consequences of which may lead to the chick dying from dehydration, punctures to the digestive organs, or possibly from the pollutants associated with (or in) the digested plastic. Longobardi has teamed up with Spiritual Revolution, donating her time and artwork, to encourage behavioral change to reduce single use plastic consumption. To learn more about Pam, her art, research, and activism, and other amazing things she is doing for the Earth and its inhabitants, please click here. To go out in nature with Pam, please click here.
We are a company of artists desiring to bring inspiration to our fellow practitioners. Our vision is simple: put amazing, gallery-quality artwork on eco-friendly yoga mats. Our images are one-of-a-kind. They look just as good hanging on your living room wall as they do under your feet in Warrior III. Awaken to the Revolution and live your yoga days filled with artistic inspiration!
Our founding visionary and CEO, Holly Rogers, along with her mom, Jane Rogers, both contribute their artistic creativity to the mats we produce. We encourage you to learn more about our family of artists here, but also by clicking on their images below and discovering even more about them and their art.
Billy the Artist
We are not perfect, but we are working hard to provide you a beautiful AND safe product.
Our mats are free of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and phalates. We use water-based inks and a 100% biodegradable, recylable, eco-friendly, natural tree rubber base, bonded to an ultra-absorbent suede cloth top that increases grip as you sweat. Any plastic used by Spiritual Revolution is 100% biodegradable.
What does this all really mean?
Jenna Jambeck, an environmental engineering faculty member at the University of Georgia, explains in this PRI article, “We’ve seen this huge increase in production in plastic that results in an increase in the waste stream as well. Unlike material that biodegrades, plastic has all of these issues. It easily travels into waterways, it physically fragments into smaller pieces which are extremely hard or impossible to collect, and [it tends to] absorb chemical contaminants that are already in the environment.”
The same article goes on to state, “Some 5.3 million to 14 million tons of plastic, or up to 4 percent of the roughly 330 million tons of plastic produced each year, entered the ocean as trash in 2010. The figure is expected to increase 10-fold in the next decade as more plastic is produced and subsequently evades waste management and recycling efforts, according to a study Jambeck and colleagues published earlier this year in the journal Science.”
We don’t believe in being angry activists or using scare tactics, but we all have a role to play in helping to preserve and sustain our beautiful home for future generations.
A Revolutionary is not just a brand ambassador, but also an active participant in a movement for well-being, art, and the environment. We are looking for people who truly feel connected to Spiritual Revolution’s inspiration, purpose, and, of course, our mats. A Revolutionary’s enthusiasm to bring awareness and create change is essential to growing the movement and inspiring others.
What A Revolutionary Will Receive From Spiritual Revolution
Love and Gratitude
One mat (of your choice) at a special, discounted cost + a Spiritual Revolution branded t-shirt (for the men) or tank top (for the women) or equivalent based on current stock
Spiritual Revolution will include a short bio + image (on your SR mat) on our website
Spiritual Revolution will promote your website and/or social networks as well as feature you on our blog
A personalized coupon code valued at $5 off any mat for you to offer to any interested person *Revolutionaries can book a 30 min photo session with Joe Longo in the Philadelphia area for Spiritual Revolution promotional use (sessions can be scheduled with Spiritual Revolution or Joe Longo). Cost: $150
What Spiritual Revolution Asks From A Revolutionary
Actively use your mat – in classes you teach or take, on your website/social networks (please tag Spiritual Revolution)
Communicate/Educate/Share (in person and online) about our brand, purpose, mats, artists, events, and Revolutionary Program. We encourage you to be authentic and to have fun.
Write or record three to six (or more if you wish) blog/video posts a year to be featured on our blog. The topics can be about yoga, pilates, well-being, art, the environment, the mats, inspiration, or any other uplifting topic you believe may help connect people to the movement. We will make our team available to you for assistance.
Teach two community classes sponsored by Spiritual Revolution (we would coordinate the availability of mats to sell as well as other merchandise)
We are open to any suggestions and ideas you may have with regard to growing the revolution. This may include sponsored events and contests, special workshops, etc.
Our revolutionary program and family of Revolutionaries can be found here.
The revolution is now and we welcome your spirit and love. We believe we all have the power and creativity to transcend and transform.
Are you in?